Theme Week Rome – Circus Maximus and Roman Forum

Thursday, 10 November 2011 - 02:30 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Circus Maximus model © Carptrash

Circus Maximus model © Carptrash

CIRCUS MAXIMUS

The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width, and could accommodate about 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire.

Very little now remains of the Circus, except for the grass-covered racing track and the spina. Some of the starting gates remain, but most of the seating has disappeared. After the 6th century, the site fell into disuse and gradual decay. Some of its stone was recycled, but many standing structures survived for a time. In 1587, two of the spina obelisks were removed by Pope Sixtus V; one of these was re-sited at the Piazza del Popolo. The lower levels of site, ever prone to flooding, were gradually buried under waterlogged alluvial soil and accumulated debris; the original level of track is now buried 6m beneath the modern surface. In the 12th century, a watercourse was dug to drain the soil and by the 1500’s the area was used as a market garden. Mid 19th century workings uncovered the lower parts of a tier and outer portico. Since then, a series of excavations has exposed further sections of seating, curved turn and spina, but further exploration has been limited by the scale, depth and waterlogging of the site. The building materials from Circus Maximus and partly from the Colosseum were re-used to built the St. Peters Basilica.

The Circus still occasionally entertains the Romans; being a large park area in the centre of the city, it is often used for concerts and meetings. The Rome concert of Live 8 (July 2, 2005) was held there, as was the Italian World Cup 2006 victory celebration. Lady Gaga was one of the latest artists who performed here – and perfectly matches with the ancient use of the Circus Maximus.




Forum Romanum © Carla Tavares Forum Cesar © Briséis Forum Augustus © MM Circus Maximus © Peter Clarke Circus Maximus © Greg O'Beirne Circus Maximus © Carptrash Forum Romanum © José Ramón Polo López Forum Romanum © Stefan Bauer / www.ferras.at Circus Maximus model © Carptrash
<
>
Forum Romanum © Stefan Bauer / www.ferras.at

Forum Romanum © Stefan Bauer / www.ferras.at

Forum Romanum © Stefan Bauer / www.ferras.at

ROMAN FORUM

The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers.

Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan’s Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great, during which the Empire was divided into its Eastern and Western halves, saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex – the Basilica of Maxentius (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.

An anonymous 8th century traveler from Einsiedeln (now in Switzerland) reported that the Forum was already falling apart in his time. During the Middle Ages, though the memory of the Forum Romanum persisted, its monuments were for the most part buried under debris, and its location was designated the Campo Vaccino or “cattle field,” located between the Capitoline Hill and the Colosseum. Some of th building materials were re-used to built the St. Peters Basilica.

Today, archeological excavations continue along with constant restoration and preservation. Long a major tourist destination in the city, the Forum is open for foot traffic along the ancient Roman streets which are restored to the late Imperial level. The Forum Museum (Antiquarium Forense) is found at the Colosseum end of a modern road, the Via dei Fori Imperiali. This little museum has a significant collection of sculpture and architectural fragments. There are also reconstructions of the Forum and the nearby Imperial Fora as well as a short video in several languages.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Wikipedia Circus Maximus and Wikipedia Roman Forum. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Shushtar in Iran

Shushtar in Iran

[caption id="attachment_232736" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System © Razie Amirian/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Shushtar is a city and capital of Shushtar County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. Shushtar is an ancient fortress city, approximately 92 kilometres (57 mi) from Ahvaz, the centre of the province. Much of its past agricultural productivity derives from the irrigation system which centered on the Band-e Kaisar, the first dam bridge in Iran. The whole water system in Shushtar consi...

[ read more ]

Manama on the Persian Gulf

Manama on the Persian Gulf

[caption id="attachment_24379" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Bahrain Financial Harbour under construction in 2011 © Majed othman almajed/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with an approximate population of 155,000 people. Long an important trading center in the Persian Gulf, Manama is home to a very diverse population. In the 20th century, Bahrain's oil wealth helped spur fast growth and in the 1990s a concerted diversification effort led to expansion in other industries...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Carinthia - Wolfsberg

Theme Week Carinthia - Wolfsberg

[caption id="attachment_153252" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Wolfsberg Castle © Neithan90[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Wolfsberg is a town and the capital of Wolfsberg District. The town is situated within the Lavanttal Alps, west of the Koralpe range in the valley of the Lavant River, a left tributary of the Drava. In the northeast, the road up to the Packsattel mountain pass connects Wolfsberg with Voitsberg in Styria. Wolfsberg's municipal area of 279 km2 (108 sq mi) is the fourth largest in Austria. The area of Wolfsberg b...

[ read more ]

Frankfort in Kentucky

Frankfort in Kentucky

[caption id="attachment_196665" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Kentucky State Capitol © Seifler/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the seat of Franklin County. It is a home rule-class city in Kentucky. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Franklin and Anderson counties. Frankfort is home to several major distilleries of Kentucky Bourbon, including th...

[ read more ]

Basse-Terre in the Caribbean

Basse-Terre in the Caribbean

[caption id="attachment_240681" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Town Hall of Basse-Terre town, the capital of Guadeloupe © LPLT/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Basse-Terre is the western and larger of the two main islands of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The capital of Guadeloupe, also called Basse-Terre, is located on the island. The eastern main island is called Grande-Terre. As Saint Marie and Honoré, Basse-Terre and the town of Deshaies in the northwest of the island have been the m...

[ read more ]

Boulogne-Billancourt in the Île-de-France region

Boulogne-Billancourt in the Île-de-France region

[caption id="attachment_215295" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Auditorium of 'La Seine Musicale' © GraphyArchy/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Boulogne-Billancourt, often colloquially called simply Boulogne, until 1924 Boulogne-sur-Seine) is a commune in the western suburbs, and 8 km (5 mi) from the centre, of the French capital Paris. Boulogne-Billancourt is a subprefecture of the Hauts-de-Seine department and the seat of the Arrondissement of Boulogne-Billancourt. With an average household income in 2013 of €47,592...

[ read more ]

Olympia in Greece

Olympia in Greece

[caption id="attachment_25011" align="aligncenter" width="590"] British Museum - Olympia Model © Joanbanjo/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history. The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical Antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Olympic Games were in honor of Zeus. Olympia is an UNESCO world heritage site since 1988. ...

[ read more ]

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

[caption id="attachment_206321" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Brocken Inaglory/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring was noted by geologists working in the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, and named by them for its striking coloration. Its colors...

[ read more ]

Rugby in Warwickshire

Rugby in Warwickshire

[caption id="attachment_151567" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Rugby School © G-Man[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Rugby is a market town in Warwickshire located on the River Avon. The town has a population of 62,000 making it the second largest town in the county. The enclosing Borough of Rugby has a population of 92,000. Rugby is 13 miles (21 km) east of Coventry, on the eastern edge of Warwickshire, near the borders with Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. The town is credited with being the birthplace of rugby footbal...

[ read more ]

Èze on the French Riviera

Èze on the French Riviera

[caption id="attachment_236236" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Èze and Cap Ferrat, seen from Grande Corniche © Tobi 87/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Èze is a seaside commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in Southeastern France. It is located on the French Riviera, 8.5 km (5.2 mi) to the northeast of Nice and 4.5 km (2.7 mi) to the west of Monaco. In 2018, Èze had a population of 2,225. Its inhabitants are known as Ezasques (masculine and feminine). Èze-Village can be ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Community of Seaside, Florida © flickr.com - Shutter.chick
New Urbanism – Seaside and Celebration in Florida

Seaside is an unincorporated master-planned community on the Florida panhandle in Walton County, between Panama City Beach and Destin. The...

Colosseum © David Iliff
Theme Week Rome – Colosseum and Trajan’s Forum

COLOSSEUM The Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy,...

Countryoverview
Country overview

In addition to the regular search function, a country overview is available here. Click on the country name to see...

Close